When I was 11 years old, I watched my dad as he was arrested after an episode of domestic violence, and I felt small & powerless in a big, scary world. Experiences like that led me on a journey of healing from trauma and breaking free from self-limiting beliefs. My faith in God, counseling, and people who helped me along the way were all key to my growth and healing. Now I am passionate about helping others on their journeys of healing.
My first experiences helping families were in the world of youth ministry in church settings. I graduated from Multnomah University in Portland, Oregon with a degree in Bible, Theology, and Youth Ministry. I was armed & ready to go, or so I thought. I soon found out that youth face mental health challenges I hadn’t been adequately prepared for. So back to school I went. After I got a masters degree in Marriage & Family therapy from George Fox University, I started a private practice. Since 2009, it has been an honor for me to walk alongside people as a counselor.
You may have had some difficult experiences in your family, or in marriage, but you’re not sure you would call it trauma. Yet you notice it’s hard to silence the voice of your internal critic, and you seem to only be able to feel negative emotions, such as anxiety or inadequacy. You feel love for your family and friends, yet something blocks you from feeling loved by them. You know intellectually when someone does something caring for you, but you don’t feel the emotions of feeling loved. You also know when you are grateful for something and may even write in a gratitude journal, but if you’re honest you don’t have the actual emotional feeling of joy or enjoyment. You wonder if its just you. You are not alone. This is an effect of trauma. Counseling can help you heal, and actually feel the positive emotions of love and joy.
It seems like there’s something wrong in your relationship. You often feel rejected, confused, & alone. You’ve read every marriage book, yet applying the steps in the books doesn’t make things better. You wonder if you’re being oversensitive or going crazy. Counseling can be a safe place to explore what’s going on in your relationship, and assess for emotionally destructive patterns such as controlling behavior or inappropriate expressions of anger. You can learn to feel more empowered, changing your responses in your relationship, whether or not your spouse or partner gets help. Together, we can look at the positives and negatives in your relationship, take time to identify if there is abuse going on, create a safety plan, and help you make choices about your relationship.
Let’s face it: most couples hit communication snags in their relationship. Same dance, new song. You were talking about something that happened during your day, and then all of a sudden you’re thinking “Are we really having this same conversation again? Why can’t he/she hear me?” What most partners do is either try harder to be heard, or get quiet & withdraw. They end up feeling uncared for and alone. If you’re feeling stuck in your relationship, couples counseling can help. Using the powerful tools of emotion-focused therapy, I walk couples through a three step process to help them reconnect, feel valued & understood.
How I Help
As a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Colorado, I believe we all need to feel connected in our important relationships in order to thrive. I incorporate attachment work, emotion-focused therapy for individuals & couples, and Internal Family Systems parts work into my therapeutic approach.
I also specialize in integrating the Christian faith with counseling, incorporating listening & healing prayer for those that desire to include this. I help people learn to hear God’s voice and experience a closer relationship with Him as they heal from depression, anxiety & trauma. It’s my joy to help people break free from strongholds such as people-pleasing, powerlessness, & fear-based decision-making.
I’m originally from the Northwest, but love the beauty & climate of Colorado Springs. I have been married for 20+ years. I love sunshine, swimming, hugs, chocolate, Jesus, games, sunflowers, deep conversation, connecting with friends, & quiet reflection near lakes & rivers.